By Jennifer Woolwine

What’s Growing in my Garden?


baghdad to barnyard

August 5, 2021

Hello friends. This summer has been flying by. I’ve spent so much time in the garden my hands are stained in dirt, a farmer’s tan from hell, and covered in bug bites and poison ivy (again), but it has been worth it. This was my first year growing anything from seed, and everything I tried to grow, exceeded my expectations. For years, I couldn’t keep an indoor plant alive past two weeks. My gardening track record was not impressive, especially since I would find a way to kill a rubber plant, no lie! So, I decided to do a trial run at my first cut flower garden and experiment.

my summer garden.jpg

We converted the bottom of our old root cellar into a growing station with grow lights, and I successfully grew hollyhock, poppies, bachelor’s button, cosmos, zinnias, marigolds, calendula, and nasturtium from seeds. My dahlia seeds did not germinate, but thankfully, I had dahlia tubers I picked up last year from Tractor Supply to make up for it.



I planted three varieties of dahlias, Garden Wonder, Duet, and Café de Lait (my favorite). I planted ten tubers and have had well over 70 plus blooms. Now that I’ve grown dahlias and witnessed their beauty and how they can transform a garden, it makes sense why they’re so popular.


Getting my hands dirty has become an excellent way to relax and unwind. Whenever I’m feeling down or stressed, I stroll in the garden and get my hands in the soil. No matter what is going on, I know I can find clarity and comfort among my flowers.

Dream Greenhouse + Flower Stand

I can’t wait to have my dream greenhouse one day, with beautiful raised beds, irrigation, more arches, and a lot more space to grow more dahlias. Maybe a small flower stand where I can sell my bouquets, especially since we don’t have a florist in our small town. In addition, a hoop house where I could grow all kinds of flowers year-round. One day, I will have all of that and more, but for now, I’m enjoying my small garden space and learning so much from trial and error. What’s growing in your garden?

me in the garden 2.jpg

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog post. Your support is appreciated!

xo, Jen

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Jen Woolwine       Author

Jen is a combat veteran and wife who is passionate about animal rescue, homesteading, and mental health advocacy. Jen's amazing journey of transitioning from military service to homesteading can be followed on her blog and social media platforms @baghdadtobarnyard.

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